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7 Simple Keys to Maximizing Social Media

If you’re like many business owners today, you understand that social media is important. You know it’s a low-cost, high-value way to reach a worldwide audience across almost all demographics. You’re aware that you should have a social media marketing strategy, but you’re not sure where to start.

In this post, I’ll take the mystery out of creating good posts for social media. Whether you have no experience, you use social media a little bit for personal networking, or you’re an experienced social media marketer, these keys will help you. I want to enable you to take your online presence to a higher level and start creating an online community that will help you reach new customers and increase your bottom line.

1. Make it Engaging

When you’re maximizing social media, your pages and profiles should be a conversation, not a monologue. The great thing about social media is that it is social, so always keep that in mind for your social media strategy. Post content that makes your followers think. Better yet, post something that compels them to respond!

Some social platforms (like Facebook) deliver your content based on your engagement rate. So, if you post 4 posts and get no likes, comments or shares, Facebook is less likely to deliver your fifth post to your fans.

Pro tip: One great way to engage your audience is to ask them a question! Choose a topic of interest to your niche. This can be a great way to get feedback on your products or services, or a project you’re planning.

Here’s an Instagram post in which I asked my audience a question. We had a fun discussion, and I established great rapport with everyone that participated.

Go Big Call Instagram Post

2. Get Visual

Plain text posts are generally not going to get noticed on today’s internet. Two of the fastest growing social platforms right now are Instagram and Pinterest – which are completely based on images and video!

Bright colors, unique perspectives, and compelling photos and graphics will get you noticed. Even if you’re posting a quote – use an app to make it a pretty picture! Some of the most viral content on the internet right now is ‘memes’: funny or interesting photos with text overlaid. Add some virality to your posts by making them visually appealing.

In this Instagram post, I shared a photo of the décor for my daughter’s Parisian birthday party. As you can see, this post had a lot of buzz. Everyone loves a pretty pic!

Parisian Soiree Instagram Post

3. Bring it to Life

Though YouTube has been around since 2005, online video is still rapidly gaining popularity. As internet speeds increase and cell-phone cameras get better and better, video is accessible to many more people.

Take advantage of this amazing media opportunity by talking to your audience! All you need is a good camera (the one on your smartphone is probably good enough) and some decent lighting (hint: go outside and use the daylight) and you can make a great looking video! This is a great way to establish rapport, trust and more relationship with your online community.

Pro tip: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Facebook all allow you to upload videos directly. Often, your posts will get more engagement if you upload directly rather than posting a link to a YouTube video or one that’s hosted on another site.

This Facebook Throwback Thursday video was a hit with our fans:

Facebook Throwback Thursday Video

4. Post Your Big Wins

Sometimes we hold back from sharing our achievements and accomplishments out of a desire to be modest. As a person in business, though, it’s important that you share the big wins for you and your organization!

Your true fans, customers and friends will celebrate with you. Unfortunately, negativity is a reality online. You just have to brush it off and keep going! As you post your wins, you’ll find that there are many more people who are for you than against you!

In this Instagram post, I shared a recent exciting media feature with my followers:

Fortune Magazine Feature

5. Put Your Hashtags to Work

Unless you’re a celebrity or huge brand with several million followers, you need to reach more than just your followers when you post online. A great way to reach a wider audience is through your hashtags.

When you add hashtags relevant to your post, it lets anyone on that social platform find your content. If they’re searching for your hashtags, chances are, they’re interested in what you have to say! Hashtags were first widely used on Twitter, but they’re now supported on Google Plus, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and many other social networks.

This Facebook post featuring a famous quote of mine got us a lot of new followers because people found the post and engaged with it all based on hashtags!

Facebook Post - Detox

6. Link it Back

Engaging your followers on social media is important, but for many businesses one of the top goals for social media marketing is to drive traffic and/or sales on our website. A simple but effective way to do this is to post links to content on your site.

When you link to your site on Facebook or Google Plus, a preview will be automatically created using images and text from your site. When posting a link to Twitter, you can add an image and create a Twitter Card for a more appealing tweet. On Instagram, links in your caption or comments won’t be clickable, so you can add the link to your bio to make it easier for your followers to navigate. Pinterest is great because any image that’s pinned from a website will automatically link back to that site!

Your social feeds shouldn’t be a continual string of links (remember, it’s important to engage!), but don’t be afraid to post some links to your site and drive that traffic to where it really counts.

This tweet features a link to one of my websites with a custom image:

twitter-success-tour

7. Mine Your Data

If you’re “shooting in the dark” on social media, then your success can only come through luck or intuition. It’s much easier to post effectively when you know what’s working! Data mining isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies anymore.

Many social platforms offer free analytics tools to see which posts get the most views, responses, shares and other types of engagement. You can use link-creation services like bitly.com to track which of your links to your site are getting clicked. Pay attention to your numbers on social. You might be surprised at what’s working and what isn’t.

Some services (think Instagram) don’t offer any analytics tools, but it only takes a few minutes to go through your feed and do some analysis. Which posts get the most likes or comments? Which hashtags seem to have the most buzz? These are important questions that can help you tailor your social strategy going forward.

Twitter and Facebook Analytics

Twitter and Facebook Analytics

Take fast action!

Start using these keys to social media effectiveness this week. Plan out your posts on one or two social networks for the next five days. Incorporate the different types of posts we discussed, and have some fun with it! Make sure to check your stats and see what’s working and what’s not. I’d love to hear about your experiences with social media marketing in the comments below.

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  • Ari Pierce April 2, 2015, 1:52 PM

    Wow! Great post with great information. These points are definitely what every business owner should use to grow their social media following and online engagement. Thanks for the awesome info!

    • Stacia Pierce April 2, 2015, 4:08 PM

      Thank you!

  • LadyJenn08 April 3, 2015, 2:00 AM

    On point, I have to step my hashtag game up. Thanks for the info

    • Stacia Pierce April 6, 2015, 9:39 PM

      Yes! Hashtags are definitely a game changer!

  • Jamelle Sanders April 3, 2015, 10:28 AM

    Excellent post! Adding images and studying time of day are key for success on social media.

    • Stacia Pierce April 6, 2015, 9:40 PM

      Images make a difference in getting noticed or not. A must do Jamelle

  • Jarrod Uddin April 7, 2015, 9:21 PM

    GREAT article and insights! I always end up finding a piece of gold in your posts (particularly, how online videos garner greater engagement when posted directly to the site as opposed to being linked somewhere else! never knew!) Thanks!

    • Stacia Pierce April 23, 2015, 11:57 AM

      You’re very welcome Jarrod

  • Ramona April 8, 2015, 9:11 PM

    Hi there. This is a perfect article for me. Just for better understanding, a hashtag is used the same way a keyword search is?

    • Stacia Pierce April 23, 2015, 12:01 PM

      A hashtag categorizes words. So if your keyword is #success then anyone who places a hashtag in front of that word will see results from anyone using that particular hashtag in their post. That’s the power of hashtags. Hope this helps Ramona